“In discussing whether a sidearm should be comfortable to carry, Clint Smith observes that a handgun should be comforting, rather than comfortable. Well put.” --Jeff Cooper
Some people claim that innovation is no longer possible in the firearms industry. I disagree, and instead believe that innovation is happening all around us. Innovation can change the above statement so that comforting and comfortable can both apply to the carrying of a self-defense firearm.
Don’t think innovation is still possible? Consider that just a little more than 30 years ago Gaston Glock, who had never attempted to build a gun before, turned the entire gun world upside down with the Glock 17.
Small businesses and designers outside of the traditional firearms manufacturing pipeline are regularly trying new things and new techniques. Telor Tactical is a scrappy young company that is setting out to revolutionize the concealed carry market by making carry systems that are both comforting and comfortable. Impossible? Not necessarily.
David Leverett, the managing partner of Telor Tactical, has an extensive background in the medical industry where he has developed a range of products. Some of the medical products Leverett developed are designed to help people who deal with pressure ulcers and bed sores. With his experience in specialized comfort materials, Leverett set out to make more comfortable holsters.
After hearing about this company, I purchased a Comfort-Air Bodyband holster through the Telor Tactical website. The order shipped quickly and arrived three days later. The price was very reasonable: $29.95 (add $5 for a XL size.)
The Bodyband is a fairly wide band that wraps around the torso. A hook-and-loop closure allows the user to adjust the exact size of the band. The holster portion is made from a neoprene material to allow the secure carrying of a variety of compact firearms.
I immediately observed several things about the Bodyband that were significantly different from competing products. First, the band that wraps around the body is much thicker than other products that typically use either a strap of nylon or elastic to wrap around the body. The Telor Tactical Bodyband is instead made with a very breathable mesh that allows a lot of airflow.
The band material is just one of the materials that Telor Tactical uses that was developed for the medical industry. The material is slightly spongy, and allows a great deal of airflow. When worn, I found the airflow kept things much cooler than the other belly band products I have tried.
The second major improvement in the Bodyband is the holster backing. Behind the holster and against the body is a perforated, rubber-like material. The backing does not have a sticky or tacky feel, but provides just enough grip to keep the handgun in position when worn.
Between the gun and the rubber backing is an additional layer of cushioning material to enhance comfort for the wearer. Although thicker than the rest of the band, this area still allows a great deal of airflow. You can literally breathe normally through the band.
The band can be worn high or low around the body depending on your preference. I wore the holster low around the waist, so that the gun was worn in a position much like with a traditional inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster. Compared to an IWB, it took me just a couple of extra minutes to figure out how it would best work for me, but once on it was definitely worth it.
The Telor Tactical Bodyband was more comfortable than any other IWB rig I have tried.
While wearing the Bodyband, I engaged in a variety of activities, including sitting, driving, walking and working around the house. The holster and gun stayed in place and was comfortable throughout. I did not have any sharp or hard portions of the gun or holster rubbing or pushing into me.
Since the holster adapts to a variety of different handguns, I tried it with a Smith & Wesson 642 revolver and the Kahr CM9 9mm pistol. Both guns carried very well with no problems in comfort, concealability or retention.
If you are looking for a new holster, and comfort is a concern for you, take a look at the Telor Tactical line of products. In addition to the Bodyband, the company makes an ankle holster and thigh holster. Beyond holsters, Telor Tactical manufactures a slip-on recoil pad, a deer stand cushion, an innovative gun mat and more. The prices all seem very reasonable, and everything is made in the USA.